Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 613–634 | Cite as

The effect of structural disparities on knowledge diffusion in networks: an agent-based simulation model

  • Matthias MuellerEmail author
  • Kristina Bogner
  • Tobias Buchmann
  • Muhamed Kudic
Regular Article


We apply an agent-based simulation approach to explore how and why typical network characteristics affect overall knowledge diffusion properties. To accomplish this task, we employ an agent-based simulation approach (ABM) which is based on a “barter trade” knowledge diffusion process. Our findings indicate that the overall degree distribution significantly affects a network’s knowledge diffusion performance. Nodes with a below-average number of links prove to be one of the bottlenecks for an efficient transmission of knowledge throughout the analysed networks. This indicates that diffusion-inhibiting overall network structures are the result of the myopic linking strategies of the actors at the micro level. Finally, we implement policy experiments in our simulation environment in order to analyse consequences of selected policy interventions. This complements previous research knowledge on diffusion processes in innovation networks.


Innovation networks Knowledge diffusion Agent-based simulation Scale-free networks 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung. In addition, we would like to thank Andreas Pyka, Robin Cowan, three anonymous reviewers, the participants of the EMAEE Conference, 1–3 June 2015, Maastricht, the Netherlands and the participants of the 1st EAEPE RA[X] Workshop, 2–3 November 2015, Essen, Germany for their helpful comments and suggestions. Needless to say, we are solely responsible for any remaining errors and omissions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Mueller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristina Bogner
    • 1
  • Tobias Buchmann
    • 1
  • Muhamed Kudic
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.StifterverbandEssenGermany
  3. 3.University of BremenBremenGermany

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